Bipolar Disorder: The Power of Daily Routines for Calming Your Mind
Tips to help you find the ones that work for you.
What’s your favorite routine?
It might be your ritual of getting ready in the morning, the steps you take to bathe and pick out the day’s outfit.
Maybe your ideal routine is the way you unwind at the end of the day, watching an episode of your favorite sitcom while savoring a cup of chamomile tea. It could also be reading bedtime stories to your little one while cuddled in their bed. Maybe you love to start your day sitting on your front porch, wrapped in your favorite robe, with a hot cup of coffee held between your hands.
Whatever you like, routines are an important part of managing mental illness.
One of my favorite bloggers, Jenny Grace, reminded me of this with a comment she left on one of my posts recently. Routines are essential, and while I use many every day, I don’t always think about how important they are to my stability.
What routines are good to help you manage your bipolar disorder?
Here are a few to keep in mind.Start Today!
Stick to a Sleep Routine
Sleep is the most important aspect of managing your mental health.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, everything else is going to be out of whack. On the flip side, if you’re spending too much time in bed, that’s not healthy either. A good sleep routine is one where you go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
Yes, that’s tough on weekends or days when you don’t have to work.
The thing is, the more that you hold to a sleep schedule, the better you’ll be able to manage things. Your body naturally likes rhythms, and sleep is one of the most crucial parts of giving your mind and body time to heal.
I use smart switches and the Google Home app to turn all the lights down in my house 90 minutes before my usual bedtime.
When the lights go dim, it’s also a reminder to take my nighttime meds.
Create Relaxation Routines
In Jenny’s comment, she talked about how she likes to spend 30 minutes every night dancing to her favorite music.
The thought of her dancing in her living room every evening makes me smile. Too often, we forget to do things to take care of our creative minds. We all need fun, even on the days when depression tries to drain all the color from our world.
Whether it’s watching your favorite movie or dancing in your living room, create a routine where you can do something fun for yourself each day.
I like to watch a funny show either while I eat dinner or right after. It helps clear the day’s stress from my head so I can relax and sleep better.
Manage Your Treatment Routines
There are many routines we use each day to manage our treatment plans.
For example, you should follow a routine for taking your medication, seeing a therapist, and tracking your moods and symptoms. Your treatment routines will help you stay balanced.
With medication, it’s important to take your pills about the same time each day. Most medications need to stay at a steady level in your body to work correctly, and they can’t do that if you take them at various times of the day.
Eating is also an important routine.
Your body needs consistent nourishment, but we sometimes ignore that. Either we let depression overwhelm us and eat way too much, or we feel like we’re giving up on life and don’t eat it all.
Try to eat healthy meals every day, eating a meal every 3 to 5 hours.
Other treatment routines to follow could include journaling, practicing mindfulness, or making sure you drink enough water throughout the day.
When a task becomes a routine, it’s easier to adhere to it, even on the harder days.
Follow Your Routines
Routines are a vital part of managing bipolar disorder.
While you do a few routines without thinking, such as getting dressed in the morning, others require a little planning. Take some time this week to think about the routines in your life, and which ones you can start or improve.
Nothing has to be set in stone. It’s okay to change or abandon a routine that isn’t working for you. Just be careful not to give up on all of them. Healthy habits will go a long way in keeping you stable.
Explore the power of routines and see how they improve your mental health.
Also, be sure to check out Jenny Grace’s site and read some of her heartfelt poetry.
Until next time, keep fighting.